Grubstreet’s Rachel Sugar sings the praises of one of the pandemic’s lingering effects on restaurants: decidedly smaller menus.
The best way to experience a restaurant, I have always felt, is by eating exactly what it wants to feed you. I do not want choices. I want the best thing. A restaurant might have five or ten best things, but it cannot have 45. There are many infuriating things about the world, but one of the more fixable is the sensation of acute regret from having ordered wrong. Why are there possibly wrong orders? Recently, I was at a fancy restaurant with great pastas and bad pizzas. So cut the pizzas! A kitchen that focuses on its strengths turns out consistently excellent things, even if that results in fewer total things. (The exceptions to this are 24-hour diners with phone-book menus; some institutions are worth preserving.)
I enthusiastically support this trend and the idea that a restaurant should know what it is. The best way to do that is to cut the bullshit and do what you do best.